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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.
Amy Bushatz: No matter who you are or where you go, heading outside even for just a few minutes is well worth it. Welcome to Humans Outside where we’re using the Humans Outside 365 Challenge to build a life habit around spending time in nature. While learning from fascinating outdoor minded guests.
I’m Amy Bushatz. I’ve let curiosity be my guide as a journalist for 19 years. But life, including my husband’s injuries from military service had us looking for a better way to live. So we moved sight unseen to Alaska to see if an outdoor focused life was the answer. Since September, 2017, I’ve spent at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every single day no matter what to explore how nature can change my life.
Ready to hear from experts and outdoor lovers who make heading into nature just a part of who they are while we work to do the same? Let’s go.
You hear me mention it in the intro of every guest episode on Humans Outside: that the way this entire thing got started was trying to help my family, including my husband Luke, work through his combat injuries by spending more time outside. It’s why we moved to Alaska in 2016 before we started looking for ways to help him feel better.
Years before we moved where we lived today, I was categorically not an outdoor kind of person. In fact, the Humans Outside website, before I was doing any kind of daily challenge or anything else, started as a blog written by me as I tried to figure out how to make myself more comfortable with spending time outside, including camping, which I had basically never done before 2013. That is wild to think about today.
It’s a pretty well documented thing that those who have experienced trauma, such as military veterans find healing in nature. And it was well documented before there were actually studies saying this, the first documented through hiker of the Appalachian Trail, Earl Shaffer was a World War II veteran who was famously trying to quote, “walk off the war.”.
And today many military veteran focused organizations seek to get veterans into nature to experience that healing, including Remedy Alpine, which was co-founded by Luke. It seems only right to spend at least one episode every year talking about veterans in the outdoors and why spending time in nature is important for that group.
And while thinking about this issue, I realized something a little crazy. For as often as I refer to Luke and his experience using nature to heal, which is literally in every single podcast interview introduction, I’ve never actually had him on here to talk about his own experience. So today that is changing.
We have the one and only Luke Bushatz on Humans Outside today to talk about his own experiences as a veteran, heading outside to find what nature can do for him. Luke, welcome to Humans Outside.
Luke Bushatz: Thank you for having me. I’m, I’m happy to be here.
Amy Bushatz: Okay, so we’re in the same house right now. Hi, .
Luke Bushatz: Hi.
Amy Bushatz: But we are not together. I am in my podcast closet upstairs and you’re at your desk in the basement. So, even several rooms apart, I think this is the closest I’ve ever been to one of my guests since all of these episodes are recorded remotely without a true studio, just my closet
Luke Bushatz: Yeah. Um, We are, I don’t, What do you want me to say? Yes, I’m right here. I’m in the building.
Amy Bushatz: Thank you for the sympathy laugh. Okay . All right. Just like any other episode, I’m gonna ask you to tell us your favorite outdoor space so we can imagine we’re having this conversation outside somewhere that you like to go. So, okay. Where are we with you today?
Luke Bushatz: Uh, Okay. So my favorite outdoor spaces um, it’s in the mountains. I know that you love the beach and that’s your kind of, your special place in nature. But me getting out into the mountains I think about the Talkeetna mountains or the Kenai Mountains, being out just surrounded by walls of the cathedrals of the mind is what I call it. When you get out there and you’re just surrounded by alpine lakes and you’re sitting by an alpine lake just surrounded by peaks all around you. Um, I’m thinking of the inner Chugach mountains about 15 miles north of where we live. Just a beautiful space where we can get out to a couple times a year and just really refresh our soul.
Amy Bushatz: Awesome. Doing it. Okay. Everyone has heard endlessly about my own experiences going outside and even about me seeing you find that spending time outside helps you. But why don’t you tell us about it yourself. First, how did you become someone who likes to go outside? Tell us all about it. I’ll pretend I don’t know. Go ahead, .
Luke Bushatz: Well, I think that um, I think that I, I’ve always been somebody that goes outside. I grew up in a, the middle of four kids. And by that I mean I have an older brother and, and twin younger sisters. And I grew up on a small family farm in Ohio, and being outside with my dog in the woods was just a normal part of my childhood. Um, it was, It was where I went to explore, to imagine a world outside of the little piece of the world that I lived in or to expand on that piece of the world that I lived in through my imagination and through just experiencing nature. Getting out into the woods with my dog and we had a creek that ran along our property, the Paw-Paw run there in central Ohio where I grew up. And just being out in nature was just a normal part of my everyday experience as a kid. And I think that translated into my adult years as the adventures became bigger and the experiences became longer, and you just moved into different experiences.
I, I know that there were some seminal events in my uh, formative years that really shaped my love of nature. I know that through Scouts I had a couple of trips in high school that really shaped my love of being able to get outside and go camping. And then uh, right after college I had a long road trip I took with some really dear friends from college and we drove around the US for a few months and just experienced our country um, national parks and the US and Canada and all the way down into Mexico.
And all of those experiences kind of just led me deeper and deeper into my appreciation for nature and then, my experiences through war and more trauma brought me back to that as a, as a place that I could go to heal, which we’ll talk more about.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah. When I envision you like playing with your dog in your creek and whatever, in Ohio, I always envision you like that kid in Summer of the Monkeys, the book Summer of the Monkeys who’s just like traipsing around. In the woods and finding, I don’t know, monkeys or something.
Luke Bushatz: I don’t know. I, I carried a Red Rider BB gun and my, my dog, Cassie, and I would go out in the woods and just hang out for hours until we got hungry and wanted to go home.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Well, that’s a good way. And now our, our kids kind of do that, particularly our son Huck, who’s 10.
Luke Bushatz: Yes. Yeah.
Amy Bushatz: He’s totally a mini you doing that. But you know, I did stuff like that too. I hung out on the beach or whatever. So, but different kind of scenery, but yeah, get hungry, go home. That’s how it goes. Okay.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah.
Amy Bushatz: So you just referenced war trauma and I refer a lot to how nature helps you deal with war trauma. So, without going into more detail than you’re comfortable with, obviously, can you give us a window into the types of experience I’m talking about when I reference that. And give us a little bit of your story as much as you’re comfortable with sharing.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah, sure. I think that my experiences are very similar to what many combat veterans have had. Um, To say that I had more trauma, war trauma or less war trauma than anybody else is I don’t think is a fair statement.
I would say that all of us carry trauma into, from our childhoods into our adult lives. I’m no different than anybody else with that. I would say that the experiences that I had in combat are typical of a combat arms infantryman and in the global war on terror, that that was not limited to just combat arms. That wasn’t limited to if you were an infantryman or a cav scout or someone that was out on the front lines of war. But that those experiences could be experienced by anyone that was in uniform because combat in a counter insurgency is non-contiguous. So really what my experiences are when it comes down to it is: I experienced death.
I experienced friends that died. I experienced my own mortality and facing that in my own injuries blast injuries and explosions and gunfights. The scope of that experience, both seeing friends killed other soldiers, killed seeing the enemy killed, having to kill, and then seeing that projected on a population that had no means of defending itself is traumatic, right?
It tears at the soul. And it has for thousands of years, right? As long as man has been, there’s been warfare and we are faced with the realities of war when we are in it. And the one of the repercussions of war, one of the inevitable outcomes of war is that soldiers will experience trauma. Civilians in war zones will experience trauma. Military families of soldiers will experience trauma from the experiences of those soldiers or from their own experiences. And you cannot be but changed when someone dies in your arms.
You can’t be but changed when you take another human life. When you’re faced with the loss of life, you can’t be but changed. And there’s post traumatic stress that results in a breakdown of human relationships and identity. And then there’s post traumatic growth. And to get to that, you have to move through the pain of it.
And I think that one of the ways that I was able to go to a place where I could heal was in nature. And I, there’s a lot of reasons for that. But I think that a lot of times when our brains- so research shows that like post-traumatic stress is really our brains going into a hyper protective mode and not being able to come out of that right and going into nature kind of pulls us out of an environment where we’re faced with needing to be in a protective mode because now we’re just in the natural world. There aren’t things that are maybe hyper arousing to someone that experienced urban combat or combat that was in highly dense or populated areas. If you experience combat, it was in an environment that’s very much like the natural environment you’re in, maybe that’s not the case. But for me, going into the mountains has always been a healing place.
Um, And coming back from war, I could go into the mountains or I could go to a lake and I could get in a tent and I could be in a place where my mind wasn’t racing, My mind wasn’t in a place where it was fighting itself, fighting for survival in its own little slice of hell that it created for itself over and over again, reliving experiences or having guilt over a, a experience um, or a situation or um, having just arousal because of environmental factors around you. Or just wanting to use anything you can to just make the memory of experiences go away and when you’re able to get out into nature, that kind quiets. And that’s why I think I was able to go into nature and kind of shed some of that armor. Um, Yeah.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah. We did not spend a lot of time outside as a family before like 2014, so that’s when I noticed it was helping you. But what was the first time you noticed that going outside made you feel better and did what you just described in calming your mind?
Luke Bushatz: Well, I would say that really like. Even in combat, I would see that being outside, like not in. So I’m an infantry officer in the military, right? So I’d spend a lot of time either in the combat outpost doing planning or preparations, or then I’d be in a Stryker or I’d be in a Humvee and we’d be out doing missions, right?
If I had time to just be quiet and go sit at a forward observation point forward of our combat outpost for like 30 minutes, you could just feel the weight of all of the baggage of combat that was going on just kind of leave you for a minute. And it was almost as if you could just step away into nature, into a natural environment for a few minutes. You could have a breath of air at least for me.
And that translates back to that translated back into our home life as well. Cause I remember, when I’d go to PT in the morning, I wouldn’t want to PT with other soldiers. I’d just want to go on a long trail run. So I’d go on like a 7, 8, 9, 10 mile trail run by myself through the woods because there was something about being alone out in nature, not running the streets at Fort Campbell or, but actually being out in nature really led to a place where I could just center, maybe not well but center for the day. Anyways, so those things led to a temporary better. I won’t say that they were permanent fixes cuz they weren’t. Right. It took deliberate and decisive steps in doing other things in our lives to like heal. But nature was a compliment in moving towards better even at those early stages following combat deployment.
Amy Bushatz: Hey humans, if you wanna build your own outdoor habit, the Humans Outside 365 Challenge is a great way to get started. You can even score some really cool and exclusive challenge swag, including a finisher, decal, and metal in the process. All you need to do is visit HumansOutside.com/Challenge. You’ll also get an outdoor challenge guide written by me for you, an exclusive challenge tracker and insider info all year long. You don’t wanna be left out of this. Go to Humans Outside.com/challenge to learn more now. Okay, back to the show.
So you mentioned quieting your mind. Is there anything else about heading outside, maybe by yourself, maybe even with other people that helps that you think helps sort through that big mental and physical trauma.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah, so there are a ton of veteran organizations out there that utilize the outdoors and outdoor spaces to help veterans deal with war trauma and Remedy Alpine being one of those, right? We founded Remedy in in 2017 under the, the idea that you can find through self discovery in your own experiences in nature, you can find better.
Amy Bushatz: Um, Pause for a second though, and tell, first, tell us what Remedy Alpine is.
Luke Bushatz: So, Remedy Alpine, Remedy Alpine is a veteran owned and run nonprofit based in Alaska. We focus on serving Alaskan veterans primarily. Um, We have done programming outside of Alaska and we’re expanding programming into Arizona this coming year. But Remedy Alpine seeks to get veterans out on, out into natural spaces. So specifically we do a lot of uh, weekend or week long hikes like five, three to five day hikes where we will backpack into the mountains on a specific route. And it’s, they aren’t super strenuous routes, you know, we’ll do 25 to 30 miles over three to four days. Right. But the whole point is, To put veterans in a space where they can work. Our, Our motto is “Work the mountain, rest your mind.” And really what we try and do is three things. The first thing we try to do is facilitate breaking your routine as veterans. And we get really good as using routine as a shield or as armor to keep us from being able to deal with our trauma.
Often we use routine to be super creative and get stuff done every day. Right? But we also often as veterans, will use our routine to avoid human interactions, to not deal with the pain of experienced trauma from the past. So the first thing we do with Remedy is by taking you out on a backpacking trip we automatically break your daily routine.
The second thing we do is we put you in a situation where you got a somewhat heavy pack on. You’re gonna have to climb up some mountains, , which is it’s gonna physically challenge you. And then your brain’s gonna start to go and you’re gonna hamster a little bit and you’re gonna be in your trauma at some point.
And that’s okay because we want you to be able to get to camp and then have a conversation with the other peers that are with you on that trip and understand and see that your experiences are not unique. Uh, We surround you with other veterans that have all experienced combat trauma. All of the veterans at work with Remedy Alpine have had their own war trauma.
My trauma may not be specifically like yours, but I can empathize with your experiences. And by surrounding people with other peers that understand where they’re coming from with their trauma, we can have honest conversations about how to move forward out of that. And accountability towards moving to better is as important as getting that spark to move towards better.
The old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Right? Nobody’s comes into the Remedy Alpine program and gets something out of it that they aren’t ready to receive. And I think that’s for any recovery program that really utilizes nature. Right? Nature is a catalyst to help deliver your own desires to get better, right? You can use nature as a conduit to move towards better nature itself isn’t gonna make you better, right? It can help you be more relaxed, be more creative, be more insightful, be um, less on guard towards the environmental factors around you, but nature itself is merely that conduit to help you move towards better.
And that’s what we try to seek in Remedy is to, is to help veterans move towards better by using nature as a conduit for them to experience that they can do things that maybe they didn’t think they could do anymore or to do things that they never thought they could do in the first place, cuz they, they hadn’t had those experiences in the military um, previously.
Amy Bushatz: So you have done a lot of events with Remedy over the last couple of years?
Luke Bushatz: Yes
Amy Bushatz: And I have never been on any of them because it’s a veteran only thing, and I’m back here, you know, living the good life in the house. No, I’m just kidding. I’m taking care of our kids. , but also because it’s a veteran only thing because you, like you just said, are surrounding veterans with other veterans doing hard stuff in veteran land.
So I’m just taking your word for it that all of this stuff happens? Uh, No, not really. Yeah I, I believe you, but I’m wondering because I haven’t been there and neither is anyone else. Well, probably most people listening to this have not been there. Um, If you can give me a couple of specific examples. No need to name names. But just give me an example or two of somebody you’ve seen have this experience and what happened because you gave an example of yourself, like going in a tent.
Hiding your mind. But what, what does this look like for other.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, my experience for me it helped me like reengage with life, right? I think that with veterans nature and getting out into nature and having yourself surrounded with other veterans that are willing to kick you in the pants a little bit. And, And have an honest conversation about moving towards better is important. Right. But that’s only one piece of the pie. I would say. And just to like preface and kind of underpin all of this, like getting professional help is a key towards getting better as well. Right? And that’s kind of a key component as we come out of our programs with Remedy is what’s the next step for you to get better? Whether that’s getting in with a counselor with the VA, or getting engaged through your through local veteran groups into peer support groups or whatever that might be. Or continuing with Remedy programming and being tied into our- so we do our kind of our keystone events or these backpacking trips where we do three or five day backpacking trips, but during the summer and winter, we also we hike up a mountain every Wednesday morning. Well, we try to every Wednesday morning often.
Amy Bushatz: I can attest it is not every Wednesday morning.
Luke Bushatz: It’s not. We try to climb every Wednesday morning. Often it’ll get stepped on by other experiences or commitments that we have, but we climb a mountain every uh, every week and we try and have once a month a, an opportunity where alumni of the program can come together and just like, have coffee together and share experiences. Right. And share life.
Um, So we’ll name uh, so one of these guys, we’ll name him Gus he came on a trip that we do one of our, one of our hikes, that was, it was about 20, it’s a 25 mile hike that we do over three days.
And Gus was an older veteran. He wasn’t like 70, right? He was almost 50, right? And that man had one speed and it was like, too low, right? Like he had one speed going up the mountain and one speed going down and we were like, we gotta get to camp. And he was doing like 45 minute miles, which at the time, I’m a pretty fast hiker. Usually
Amy Bushatz: I can.
Luke Bushatz: And I wanted to do,
Amy Bushatz: I can confirm that you walk fast at all times. Yes. How? I mean, I walk fast and I’m telling you just slow the crap down.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah. Yeah. So some, So usually I like to hike at like a 20 minute mile. Right. Because that’s a great sustainable rate and, and
Amy Bushatz: Not downhill
Luke Bushatz: Our friend Gus here.
Amy Bushatz: Straight uphill will you hike 20 minute mile straight up a mountain.
Luke Bushatz: Uh sure, pretty close yeah.
Amy Bushatz: OK back. Back, to back to Gus.
Luke Bushatz: So anyways,
Amy Bushatz: Whose fake
Luke Bushatz: Back to, back to Gus.
Amy Bushatz: Fake name sounds nothing like his real name. Keep going.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah. Uh, and, And at the time I hadn’t learned to like, stop and smell the roses as a guide yet with Remedy Alpine. I wanted everybody to go at my speed and experience the mountain the same way I was experiencing the mountain. And he was just hanging out and just going and uh, myself and one of the other guides, we kept swapping off who would be what we call sweeps, which is in the back, right? Walking with the slower slower hikers on the trip. And uh, by the time we got into camp of day two both he and I were pretty frustrated. Day three is a shorter day, and we were out like mid-morning right to the trail head and um, we were like, Man, that was, that was a good trip. It was a great trip. And we don’t, and a lot of times we, like veterans will come out on trips and, and we’ll do some follow up contact with ’em. And most of the time people don’t follow up with programming. Well, Gus kept coming out. He’d come out to our, our week. So if we’ve, we do a Friday night hike, sometimes in the summer. He’d be out there every time and he’d bring another veteran and then he’d bring two veterans, and then he’d bring his veteran friend and his friend’s kid. And his kid.
And here’s the thing, when what you’re doing becomes a conduit to make other people better, and then they start making other people better, you see growth. And what I can say is like when I, when I see other veterans that are utilizing nature and hiking and getting out, and those experiences, just to move towards building better relationships with the people that are their core relationships in their life, I see success. Hmm. Um,
Amy Bushatz: And he taught you to slow down a little bit.
Luke Bushatz: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because two years after that, so this would’ve been 20 21 last year I thought our buddy Gus was slow, but we had a guy, we’ll call him John. He was doing like a mile in an hour pace, just like the tortoise would’ve won that race. But that’s okay because when he got done with that hike, he was like, Listen, I know I signed a waiver for the gear and everything, but I want to keep these treking poles. This is the, like he, he was a Air Force veteran that had worked in combat support roles his whole career. And he hadn’t really done a lot of hard physical things. And he said, he had come to us and said, You know, I didn’t think that I could do this, and yet you guys facilitated making this possible.
And I want to keep these sticks because it’s the biggest physical uh, accomplishment that I’ve had in my life. And he bought us other tracking poles and replaced the ones that he had hiked with, and he kept ’em, and he framed them and he put ’em in his, in his house. And um, those are the types of experiences that I see where it, it’s a spark experience, right?
The question is how do we follow that up with transformative change in our lives. So when we talk about where you continue, where you thrive or you continue to struggle, when we look at the examples of Gus and John, one of those veterans is doing really well, and one is continuing to struggle. And so the question is: You can have a, an amazing experience out in nature, but are you continuing to engage in a way that allows you to be more creative, more engaged in your core relationships? And what I can say is as I look at those two individuals, one was very purposeful about continuing to go outside, continuing to get engaged not only with nature, but bring those core relationships that he has in his life with him into nature to share that experience. And the other one didn’t do that. .
Amy Bushatz: Um, But that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that story about the trekking poles, and I’m not gonna lie, that made me tear up a little bit right then.
Luke Bushatz: Uh, So that’s, that’s actually not uncommon. Uh, And we try and always leave every event, every participant with events, with something. So like if you’ve done a climb for us with us the first time, you’ll get a water bottle. And if you’ve done a second big climb, maybe you get a headlamp. And eventually uh, we’ve like, if, if you’ve done enough trips with us, you have a 40 liter hydration, $150 backpack from Osprey, which we’ve been gifted from organizations like Wounded Warrior Project and, and um, Higher Ground and, and, and uh, different organizations that have been really generous with just sharing with us and then through private donors that continue to just have a love and care for veterans, continue to fund our programming so that we can get veterans out on the mountain.
Amy Bushatz: Okay. Yeah. Well enough about that. Yeah. Now we should talk about me. No, I’m just kidding. Sure. But only, But only sort of because, because what I mean is there’s another side of this struggle that we’re talking about with so many veterans and you’ve alluded to it a little bit, but that’s their at home support or caregivers who are people a lot like me, honestly. So I’m wondering from your perspective, how you have seen going outside help me?
Luke Bushatz: Well, I think that at it’s like basic premise, you came outside with me to be able to better understand my experiences and see me in a space where I was less guarded. And through that you gain your own benefits. You became less guarded. You were able to communicate better with me. You were better able to share your fears and concerns and have open and honest conversations about where we are and where we’re going and where we’ve been. And nature helped facilitate that. I think that those shared experiences then lead to deeper trust and more meaningful, more meaningful bonds in any relationship. Whether it’s a, you know, your wife or your kids or your fishing buddy. Right. But if you can make your wife, your fishing buddy, then you’re in good shape .
Amy Bushatz: I will, I do. I’m not a fisher person. Let’s be clear.
Luke Bushatz: No, but neither am I. Right. But when I say fishing buddy, right? Like some veterans go run up a mountain or go hike up a mountain with their wife like we did a couple weeks ago, which was wonderful. And some guys want to go sit in a deer hide with their wife and shoot a buck. Right? And that’s okay. Uh, Some guys want to go cut a hole in the ice and fish. With their spouse or their kids and that’s okay.
Amy Bushatz: We did that. That was pretty fun.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah, that is fun. Right? But what I’m saying is like the core relationships that you tie to that help ex like deepen those relationships. So if you have another veteran that’s a peer that is, is your confidant. Take ’em out into nature and, and share that experience and that relationship will be better for it. But don’t neglect your family as well. Like take your spouse, take your kids, share those experiences with them so that they get an insight into how you are less guarded and able to heal in nature. Have those honest conversations there and then take it back and be better at home for it.
Amy Bushatz: What about our kids? How have you seen this, what we do help them?
Luke Bushatz: Um, I hope that they have an appreciation for nature. I think that they are both growing into that one. You know, Huck is very much the kid that could stay out and be outside all day long, and he has no problem with it. Right.
Amy Bushatz: He’s 10.
Luke Bushatz: When it’s, when it’s 20, when it’s 20 degrees out in the middle of winter, that kid’s out there, you know, just digging snow trenches in the backyard.
Amy Bushatz: He really does. Or the front yard, he, he, he takes the ice an ice ax and a shovel, an avalanche shovel into the snow berm that has been made by, cuz we live in cul-de-sac. So the snow plows come through and they leave this huge snow berm and he goes in there and he digs himself ice caves and he spends like hours and hours doing this. Um, And uh, you know, where’s Huck oh, he is just in Huck hole.. I don’t know. So . Yeah.
Luke Bushatz: Yeah. And, you know, that’s his, that’s who he is, right?
Amy Bushatz: Yeah, totally.
Luke Bushatz: And Dave our oldest, he’s 13. Isn’t that kid. Right? Not that kid. But I think that he’s growing into somebody that still has an appreciation for nature.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah.
Luke Bushatz: And. And that’s, I’m okay with that.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah.
Luke Bushatz: Right. Like not everybody has a personality that’s like, I’m gonna go crush this 8,000 foot peak today. Right.
Amy Bushatz: Right.
Luke Bushatz: And that’s all right. If you want to just, you know, sit in a chair and read a book in the sunshine. There’s nothing wrong with that. Yeah, totally.
Amy Bushatz: That sounds great. So I’d love to do that right now.
Luke Bushatz: So I, That that is that’s what I hope that our children take away from it. Really what I really hope is that we just don’t break them every day, is what I’m trying to do.
Amy Bushatz: Like physically, Like.
Luke Bushatz: Physically, emotionally, mentally. Right? Spiritually, like I we’re trying to raise young men that love their family, that love their communities, that love God, and that live that out. Right? And I think by going into nature, I’m less of all the negative things in my life. And if that means I need to spend more time outside so that I’m a better dad at home, then I’m gonna do that.
Amy Bushatz: Hmm. Okay. Two final things before we wrap this up. First, because it’s been awhile since I asked somebody to share with me their favorite outdoor gear, I’m gonna ask you. But because I live with you and I know what incredible amount of gear you own, I would like to know what your fa absolute favorite is. I don’t care about practical, so please don’t say something boring. Yeah, okay. Like your avalanche beacon or a shovel or something?
Luke Bushatz: Yeah, no.
Amy Bushatz: What’s your favorite?
Luke Bushatz: Okay.
Amy Bushatz: Non boring.
Luke Bushatz: So, So the reality is, the reality is, is my favorite piece of outdoor gear is a ball cap. Like.
Amy Bushatz: That is boring.
Luke Bushatz: I wear it.
Amy Bushatz: That’s boring.
Luke Bushatz: I wear a baseball cap.
Amy Bushatz: Not boring.
Luke Bushatz: Like I wear a hat all the time.
Amy Bushatz: You do. And you wear second. Okay. You wear a hat and then you wear a ski cap over it.
Luke Bushatz: So here’s the deal, here’s the deal.
Amy Bushatz: Really silly.
Luke Bushatz: So that’s the second thing. Alright, So the best piece of outdoor gear outside of a baseball cap, which I happen to be wearing right now, is a, is a good piece of snivel. And the best piece of snivel is just a fleece. Just a flee hat.
Amy Bushatz: OK what’s snivel, what does that mean? You gotta tell people what that means.
Luke Bushatz: So sniffle gear is a term we use in the military, right? Like if you got the sniffles and like you’re, you’re like a little cold. You throw on a piece of insulating, you throw on an insulating layer, right? And for me, the most base insulating layer is you got your ball cap on and you’re cold. Then you throw your, your fleece cap on. So that’s my number one piece of outdoor gear. Cause I want a little fleece cap on top of my baseball cap. And I look stupid. I know, but I don’t care.
Amy Bushatz: And then sometimes you wear the fleece cap alone, but then your head gets a little hot so you roll it up. Like you’re Jacque Cousteau.
Luke Bushatz: Jacque Cousteau. Yes. Roll the ears up. See that’s it. You just roll it up a little bit and you’re good to go.
Amy Bushatz: Okay Jacque.
Luke Bushatz: You instantly make everything so much warmer by putting on that fleece cap. Okay?
Amy Bushatz: Okay. All right, now that I’m done making fun of you. Um,
Luke Bushatz: And then the next thing would be an insulating, like an insulating jacket. That has a hood.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah, that’s true.
Luke Bushatz: Like a, Yeah, like a puffy with a hood.
Amy Bushatz: That’s true.
Luke Bushatz: That’s it.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Okay.
Luke Bushatz: Those are the things you need.
Amy Bushatz: All right. Very last thing. I like how you just, by the way, zipped up your jacket for emphasis. So
Anyway, very last thing. Walk us out if you don’t mind remembering a favorite outdoor moment. So sometime outside that you like to go back to and you close your eyes and you imagine being there and it brings you peace. Where are you?
Luke Bushatz: Oh man. I am on the Buffalo National River in Arkansas. Just turquoise blue, clear water, and I’m with my wife and I have peace floating down a river.
Amy Bushatz: Thanks so much for coming on humans Outside with me today.
Luke Bushatz: Thanks for having me.
Amy Bushatz: Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode of Humans Outside. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, take a second to leave a rating or review wherever you get your podcasts. That makes it easier for others to find the podcast, too. Your positive review makes a huge difference. Now go get outside. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.